Connect a second monitor to your PC

A reader wants to know the hardware requirements for driving a second screen.

A reader Maina wants to know how to connect a second (and possibly even third) monitor to his PC. He wants one for documents, another for his Web browser or music software, and so on.

Good news, Maina: Windows (especially Windows 7, which you said is one of your preferred operating systems) is very adept at running multiple monitors, and there are few specific hardware requirements. In other words, any system capable of running Windows 7 should have no problem driving a second monitor.

If you're a desktop user, check your video card to see if it has a second VGA or DVI port. If so, just plug in your second monitor and you're good to go. (See below for Windows configuration instructions.) If not, consider upgrading to a dual-port video card.

As for laptops, virtually all models have a VGA, DVI, or HDMI port for connecting an external display. So, again, all you need to do is plug in your monitor and configure Windows.

PC World's Patrick Miller explains all this in much greater detail in How to Set Up Multiple Monitors, and also provides complete instructions on adjusting Windows' display settings. Check there if you need more info.

However, if your system lacks the ports you need for a second and/or third monitor, one option Patrick neglected to mention is a USB adapter. A quick search for "USB to DVI" will reveal numerous products that plug into a USB port to provide a standard DVI (i.e. monitor) input. That's a very convenient solution, though not always the cheapest.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags videosoftwareapplicationslcd monitorsmonitorsupgrading

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Rick Broida

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?